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  5. "He remained sitting."

"He remained sitting."

Translation:Han blev sittande.

March 7, 2015



I thought this might be one of those playful sentences in the course and wrote han stannade sittande. Not accepted, sadly. I guess maybe stanna has more of a sense that the place in which you're remaining is central, rather than your posture?


When would you use förblev vs. blev?


förblev means 'remained' but it's a pretty formal word so we don't use it that much.
blev normally means became. This expression is special and hard to translate into English, so 'remained' is sort of a 'least bad' translation here.


what about han förblev att sitta?


Doesn't work, we can't have an infinitive after förblev. I guess it's more like 'keep' than 'remain' in that way. (like you can say 'he kept sitting' but not ?'he kept to sit').


Thanks for that. However, I am confused as I thought that sitting etc. could be translated as att sitta, or att + infinitive of the verb.


It can usually be translated like that, but not with all verbs. Since förblev literally means 'kept being', it makes sense that it doesn't work with an infinitive, only with adjectives and participles.


I find remarkably strange and unnatural that "blev" means "remained". In English, to become always means to change the state of something or someone. Ice melts and becomes water, a person who wasn't a doctor graduates and becomes one. That is all of the opposite of remaning in the same state as before.

I wonder how Swedish makes the distinction when using a word that can mean both staying the same and becoming a different thing.


I am also having trouble with understanding bli here. Can someone explain how a verb can change its meaning so drastically? Is it just in certain expressions? Or does the meaning depend on the context?


Using bli to mean "remain" is somewhat dated in general and only applies to certain constructions nowadays. The comment Arnauti linked to below has some more information: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/6181744


All right, thanks!


Han återstod sittande?


We use two different words for the two senses of English "remain":

  • (för)bli = kept being in a continuous state, such as sitting in this case
  • återstå = being the only one left, as in "the only person remaining in the room"


I would say vara kvar is an even better translation, since it covers both senses and more common than both of these. Of course, the more vocabulary you know the better, but for a beginner I think kvar (adverb meaning approx. "left over", "still") is better to learn. I think it is more idiomatic to say Han satt kvar compared to Han blev sittandes, which sounds slightly dialectal and archaic to me. You can use kvar with many verbs, e.g. sitta kvar, stå kvar, lämna kvar etc.


I figured maybe I should say something about this. I agree with you that kvar is a word that should be in the course. As you may have guessed, it wasn't that we decided to include sittande and skip kvar, it was just that we forgot kvar because we thought it was already in there. We have a little list of words like this, but have a lingot for spotting kvar!

I also agree with you that constructions like han blev sittandes are dialectal and sound a bit old-fashioned. However we are not teaching any of them, what we are teaching here are things like Han blev sittande, Boken blev liggande etc which are pretty normal Swedish imho. Since we are teaching them, we need to try to provide an English translation, and we just couldn't find a better one, so this is what we put. (the Swedish sentences are always the main sentences, and then you're supposed to be able to translate the English translations back to the same thing again). If anyone has a better suggestion for how to translate Han blev sittande into English, we're all ears :)


Thank you for the lingot! Maybe it's just among me and people my age, but using the participle like this (even without the -s at the end) is unusual and, if not old-fashioned, still a sign that it's coming from and older speaker. Even among older people I still think it's not that common. But I guess there is nothing wrong with teaching it, really, but if it were up to me I would add that as a note. It's interesting to think about how different sociolects take shape though :)

For a better English translation I guess He was left sitting sounds better? I sort of emphasizes the fact that subject entered a position and remained there without anything happening to it. I think this is a more common way of phrasing it in English. This might make it sound too passive, but compare to he was left amazed, which doesn't always have a clear agent. It does work better when the subject is inanimate, like in boken blev liggandes - the book was left lying. One could also go with He kept sitting when the subject is animate, as you mentioned in the reverse sentence forum.


När du säger vi vem är ni ? Är ni som gör den svenska kursen eller är ni svenska lärarna?


How about kvarstå? It seems to me it works like förbli.


Afraid not, that means remains as in "not having been changed".


I tried to explain the expression blev sittande on the reverse sentence forum here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/6181744


Han förblev sittandes - is the correct translation, the one they provide is no good.


That works too, but sittandes is a more colloquial form of sittande and förblev is somewhat formal. You can hear blev sittandes pretty often in the spoken language, but blev sittande is the most neutral way of saying it.


I'm pretty late with this, but I've never heard, nor used, "blev sittandes" during my whole 22 years as a Swede. I've heard and used "blev kvar sittandes" or "förblev sittandes". "Han blev sittandes" is a very weird sentence, and it sounds like it's missing something.


'blev' - became 'förblev' - remained

Love it.

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